grl2grl by Julie Anne Peters
This is a collection of 10 short stories. Some short, some long. Some make me feel like I’m standing on top of a mountain just breathing in the sharp, pure air until my lungs burst. Some cause my heart to beat just a little faster as it grows with pride and joy. Some are broken pieces wrapped in warm, cocooned prose – it’s deceptive! – that are too real to be described “sad”; sad is too plain a word. It’s carefully neutral. Try trapped, smothered, banked until only a thin strand of smoke is all that’s left.
These stories are all about teenage girls except for Vince from “Boi”. They are – except for Vince – gay (Vince is, in case you haven’t guessed from the title, FTM). They are confident, confused, cautious, hurting. Each story is different from the other. None of them is: girl meets girl, insta love, then HEA. Most stories left me with “Oh nooooooo” or “Shiiit”. Very quick read, never boring, never repetitive.
The thing is, Julie Anne Peters’ prose is not sensationalistic. She’s not out to twist you up inside. grl2grl didn’t make my heart bleed or my eyes fall out. Instead, it’s a quick, bloodless swipe, and it’s only after you’ve put down the book that you know the stories are going to circle around your mind over and over.